A dental crown is a tooth-shaped covering that reconstructs and fortifies an injured or damaged tooth. While dental fillings merely fill in a part of a tooth, a dental crown completely covers the full viewable area of a tooth above the gum line. The dentists at Houston Medical Center Dental specialize in developing dental crowns that restore the shape, size and function of a tooth while enhancing its durability and visual appearance.
Patients who require crowns visit the office on two occasions, with the second following two to three weeks after the first. The first appointment involves the dentist giving a thorough inspection of the damaged tooth, along with X-rays to determine the extent of the damage. If the X-rays show damage to the root, the patient may also need a root canal as a separate procedure.
During the first visit, the dentist will anesthetize the tooth, gum and surrounding areas before filing down the tooth to fit the crown. If the tooth has taken severe damage, the dentist will use a filling material to shape the tooth and build up its foundation to support the crown. After the dentist has the proper shape for the crown, he will take a bite impression of both the upper and lower jaw to ensure that the crown fits well with the surrounding teeth.
At the end of the first visit, the dentist installs a temporary crown to cover the affected tooth. A dental laboratory takes the bite impression and molds the permanent crown, which can be made from either metal or porcelain. Two to three weeks later, the patient returns for the permanent crown. The dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown into place.
If you need a crown, tooth replacement or have any questions on our procedures, contact the Houston Medical Center Dental offices today!